Joseph John Aiuppa known as Joey O'Brien and Joey Doves, was a Chicago mobster who became a leader of the Chicago Outfit from 1971 until his Federal conviction in 1986. Joseph Aiuppa was born in Melrose Park, the eldest son of Simone Aiuppa and Rosalia Marie Greco, Sicilian immigrants from Lascari, Province of Palermo, Sicily. During the 1920s, former boxer Aiuppa rose through the ranks of the Chicago Outfit, beginning as a driver for higher ranking Outfit leaders such as Tony Accardo, he graduated to operating several gambling establishments in Illinois. These clubs included underground casinos with secret entrances. In the early 1930s, Aiuppa managed Taylor & Company, ostensibly a furniture manufacturer though in actuality a front for the manufacture of illegal slot machines. Beginning in the late 1940's and well into the 1960s, Aiuppa was in charge of the Cicero district of the Outfit; the Cicero district was the highest-earning neighborhood for decades, going back to Al Capone who headquartered out of this area while he was in command.
Aiuppa owned and/or operated several establishments in Cicero, collectively called the Strip. This was the original "strip" before the mob-controlled casino strip in Las Vegas; the various clubs located on Cicero Avenue were the Frolics, the Towne Hotel, the 411 Club, along with a few others. Prostitution, slot machines, various gaming activities took place inside these night clubs. Aiuppa owned for many years and eventually sold the Navajo Hills golf course located outside suburban Chicago; this was one of his many real-estate dealings that he made money on with his personal take and share of running the most powerful and successful Outfit neighborhood for decades. Aiuppa operated his real estate holdings under the name of Rosemar Reality, named after his mother, Rose Marie. From time to time, Aiuppa put cars or small real estate in her name, as he would never keep any assets in his own name except for the home in which he resided, in Oak Brook, Illinois, he used various other relatives, including brothers and nephews, in holding title to his many changing real-estate assets in and around the Chicago area.
For 40 years, Aiuppa's original nickname was his old boxing name, "Joey O'Brien" abbreviated in mob circles to just "O'Brien" or "Joey O." In those days, Irish boxers got paid more on the fight card, so Aiuppa chose an Irish name to fight under. This was one of his last known jobs. In a move reminiscent of Al Capone's prosecution for tax evasion, Aiuppa was convicted in 1966 for the unlawful possession and transportation of mourning doves across state lines. Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, it is illegal to possess more than 24 doves per person outside of hunting season. In September 1962, as part of Robert Kennedy's crackdown on the Chicago Outfit, FBI agents in Kansas searching Aiuppa's car discovered 563 frozen doves. Following a series of appeals, Aiuppa was sentenced in August 1966, received a three-month jail sentence and a $1,000 fine; as a result, Aiuppa gained various nicknames like "Joey Doves", "Joey the Doves", "Doves", "Mourning Doves". In June 1975, Sam Giancana was murdered as he made a snack in his Oak Illinois home.
One murder theory said Aiuppa conspired with Johnny Roselli to kill Sam Giancana. Jimmy Fratianno said he was told by Roselli a mob associate called "Butch", whom Giancana trusted, had killed him, as Roselli and Sam were still friends; the Federal Bureau of Investigation suspected that the Chicago Outfit had killed Giancana because he refused to share his offshore casino gambling profits from Mexico. Another murder theory states that Giancana's murder was connected to the U. S. Senate's investigation into the alleged Central Intelligence Agency role with the mob in the conspiracy to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro. John Roselli himself was killed soon after Giancana's death for being too forthcoming in the Church Committee Cuba hearings, which were being held at this time. Sometime following the murder, Aiuppa bought a house in Palm Springs, California, as had several other Chicago mobsters. In 1986, Aiuppa was convicted of skimming profits from Las Vegas casinos, received 28 years in prison.
In June 1986, Tony "the Ant" Spilotro and his brother Michael were beaten and strangled to death in Bensenville and buried in a cornfield in Enos, five miles from Aiuppa property near Morocco, Indiana. It was assumed that the Outfit ordered Tony Spilotro's murder because of his misbehavior in Las Vegas, it was rumored that Aiuppa ordered the executions because he blamed Spilotro for the skimming conviction. However, in a 2010 interview with Maxim magazine, while promoting the opening of the Las Vegas Mob Experience at the Tropicana Hotel, Tony Spilotro's son Vincent claimed that the real target was his uncle Michael, Tony was killed to prevent any revenge. On January 19, 1996, Aiuppa was released from the U. S. Bureau of Prisons Federal Medical Center at Rochester, Minnesota. On February 22, 1997, Aiuppa died at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital in Illinois. Aiuppa had controlled several acres of prime real estate around his Oak Brook home. FBI files on Joseph Aiuppa Joey Aiuppa at Find a Grave
Nicholas Pileggi is an American producer and screenwriter. He is best known for writing the non-fiction book Wiseguy and co-writing the screenplay for Goodfellas, its 1990 film adaptation, for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Pileggi was born and raised in Brooklyn, the elder son of an Italian immigrant father, Nicola Pileggi from Calabria and an American-born mother, Susie, he has Dominick. Nicola "Nick" Pileggi was a cinema musician for silent films and owned a shoe store. In the 1950s, he worked as a journalist for Associated Press and New York Magazine, specializing in crime reporting for more than three decades. Pileggi had a profound interest in the Mafia, he is best known for writing Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family, which he adapted into the movie Goodfellas, for writing Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas and the subsequent screenplay for Casino. The movie versions of both were co-written and directed by Martin Scorsese. Pileggi wrote the screenplay for the film City Hall, starring Al Pacino.
He served as an Executive Producer of American Gangster, a biographical crime film based on the criminal career of Frank Lucas. He authored Blye, Private Eye. Pileggi co-wrote the pilot of the CBS television series Vegas, which first aired in September 2012. Pileggi was married to fellow author and screenwriter Nora Ephron from 1987 until her death in 2012. Pileggi, Nicholas. Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-80832-1. Pileggi, Nicholas. Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-72322-4. Pileggi, Nicholas. Blye, Private Eye. Playboy Press, Chicago. ISBN 978-0-87223-475-8. Nicholas Pileggi on IMDb Biography at Film Reference.com Fleeman, Mike, "Nora Ephron, Writer-Director of Sleepless in Seattle, Dies at Age 71", People magazine, Tuesday June 26, 2012
Anthony John Spilotro, nicknamed "The Ant", was an American mobster and enforcer for the Chicago Outfit in Las Vegas, during the 1970s and 1980s. His job was to protect and oversee the Outfit's illegal casino profits, when some of the casinos were run by Frank Rosenthal. Spilotro replaced Outfit member Marshall Caifano in Las Vegas. Spilotro ran afoul of his organized crime overseers who disapproved of his handling Las Vegas affairs, who arranged his murder in 1986. Spilotro served as the basis for the character Nicky Santoro in Martin Scorsese's mafia classic, Casino; the fourth of six children, Anthony John Spilotro was raised in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Burbank Elementary School, entered Steinmetz High School in 1953, his father Pasquale "Patsy" Spilotro Sr. had emigrated from Triggiano, Province of Bari and had arrived at Ellis Island in 1914. When Pasquale arrived in the US, however, he had education, or particular skill. Unlike most Italian immigrants who settled in "The Patch", the Spilotros lived at 2152 North Melvina Avenue.
He and his wife Antoinette Spilotro ran Patsy's Restaurant, located at 470 N. Ogden, frequented by mobsters such as Salvatore "Sam" Giancana, Jackie "The Lackey" Cerone, Gus Alex, Francesco "Frank the Enforcer" Nitti. In 1954, Pasquale died at the age of 55, leaving six sons. Along with four of his brothers, Vincent and Michael, Tony became involved in criminal activity early in life; the remaining brother, Pasquale Jr. went to college and became a respected oral surgeon in the Chicago area. Tony became a made man at 25 years old, he was nicknamed "Tony the Ant" by the media after FBI Special Agent William Roemer referred to Spilotro as "that little pissant." Since the media couldn't use "pissant," they shortened it to the "Ant." He was called "Tough Tony." Spilotro dropped out of Steinmetz High School in his sophomore year and became known for a succession of petty crimes such as shoplifting and purse snatching. His first arrest occurred on January 11, 1955, when he attempted to steal a watch from a River Forest store and was charged with larceny.
In 1976, Spilotro formed a Las Vegas-based burglary ring with his brother Michael and Herbert "Fat Herbie" Blitzstein, utilizing about eight associates as burglars. The crew became known as the Hole in the Wall Gang because of its penchant for gaining entry by drilling through the exterior walls and ceilings of the buildings they burglarized; the Hole in the Wall Gang operated out of Ltd jewelry store. Other gang members included Peter Basile, Frank Cullotta, Joseph Cusumano, Samuel Cusumano, Joseph D'Argento, Ernesto "Ernie" Davino, Leonardo "Leo" Guardino, Frank DeLegge, Michael LaJoy, Ernest Lehnigg, Wayne Matecki, "Crazy Larry" Neumann, Butch Panczko, Peanuts Panczko, Pops Panczko, Salvatore "Sonny" Romano, Gerald Tomasczek, Carl Urbanotti, former Las Vegas detective Joseph Blasko, who acted as a lookout and who worked as a bartender at the Crazy Horse Too, a gentleman's club. Following a botched burglary at Bertha's Household Products on July 4, 1981, Cullotta, Guardino and Neumann were arrested and each charged with burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, attempted grand larceny, possession of burglary tools.
They were locked into the Las Vegas Police Department's holding cell in downtown Las Vegas. The only members of Spilotro's gang not arrested for the July 4 burglary were Blitzstein, Cusumano and Michael Spilotro. By this time, Spilotro's relationship with Frank Rosenthal had deteriorated, as Spilotro had had an affair with Rosenthal's wife, Geri McGee. Meanwhile, Cullotta had turned state's witness, but the testimony was insufficient, Tony was acquitted. Michael Spilotro Herbie Blitzstein Peter Basile Frank Cullotta Joseph Cusumano Samuel Cusumano Joseph D'Argento Ernesto "Ernie" Davino Leonardo "Leo" Guardino Frank DeLegge Michael LaJoy Ernest Lehnigg Wayne Matecki "Crazy Larry" Neumann, Butch Pancsko, Peanuts Pancsko, Pops Pancsko, Salvatore "Sonny" Romano, Gerald Tomasczek Carl Urbanotti Joseph BlaskoI Paul "The Indian" Schiro The FBI first "flipped" Charles "Chuckie" Crimaldi, a former associate of Sam DeStefano. Crimaldi had been a "juice collector" for DeStefano during the 1960s, he gave evidence against Spilotro and DeStefano in the murder of real estate agent-loanshark Leo Foreman on November 19, 1963.
Crimaldi provided information on his part in murdering another DeStefano loanshark, William "Action" Jackson, to keep him from cutting a deal with the FBI in exchange for a lighter sentence on a hijacking charge. Roemer denied Jackson had cut any deal with the FBI. Many years in 1982, Sal Romano, a member of the Hole in the Wall Gang who specialized in disabling alarm systems, became a government informant, he worked counter-surveillance during botched Bertha's Las Vegas burglary in 1981. Unknown to the rest of the Wall Gang, Romano had tipped off federal agents and police, who were waiting for the burglars when they were drilling through the roof at Bertha's; when Spilotro's childhood friend Frank Cullotta was arrested in the attempted Bertha's burglary, the FBI presented him with a wiretap tape that revealed that Spilotro was out to have him murdered. Cullotta agreed to become a federal witness. In court, he admitted that he had done "muscle work" on Spilotro's behalf for many years, including setting up the infamous Chicago 1962 "M&M Murders" of James Miraglia and Billy McCarthy.
Spilotro had been ordered by Outfit bosses to track down and kill the
Las Vegas Valley
The Las Vegas Valley is a major metropolitan area in the southern part of the U. S. state of Nevada. The state's largest urban agglomeration, it is the heart of the Las Vegas–Paradise-Henderson, NV MSA; the Valley is defined by the Las Vegas Valley landform, a 600 sq mi basin area surrounded by mountains to the north, south and west of the metropolitan area. The Valley is home to the three largest incorporated cities in Nevada: Las Vegas and North Las Vegas. Five unincorporated towns governed by the Clark County government are part of the Las Vegas Township and constitute the largest community in the state of Nevada; the names Las Vegas and Vegas are interchangeably used to indicate the Valley, the Strip, the city, as a brand by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to denominate the region. The Valley is affectionately known as the "ninth island" by Hawaii natives and Las Vegans alike, in part due to the large number of people from Hawaii who live in and travel to Las Vegas. Since the 1990s the Las Vegas Valley has seen rapid growth, tripling its population of 741,459 in 1990 to 2,227,053 estimated in 2018.
The Las Vegas Valley remains one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States, in its short history has established a diverse presence in international business, urban development and entertainment, as well as one of the most iconic and most visited tourist destinations in the world. In 2014, a record breaking 41 million visited the Las Vegas area, producing a gross metropolitan product of more than $100 billion; the first reported non-Native American visitor to the Las Vegas Valley was the Mexican scout Rafael Rivera in 1829. Las Vegas was named by Mexicans in the Antonio Armijo party, including Rivera, who used the water in the area while heading north and west along the Old Spanish Trail from Texas. In the 19th century, areas of the valley contained artesian wells that supported extensive green areas, or meadows, hence the name Las Vegas; the area was settled by Mormon farmers in 1854 and became the site of a United States Army fort in 1864, beginning a long relationship between southern Nevada and the U.
S. military. Since the 1930s, Las Vegas has been identified as a gaming center as well as a resort destination targeting adults. Nellis Air Force Base is located in the northeast corner of the valley; the ranges that the Nellis pilots use and various other land areas used by various federal agencies, limit growth of the valley in terms of geographic area. Businessman Howard Hughes arrived in the late 1960s and purchased many casino hotels, as well as television and radio stations in the area. Legitimate corporations began to purchase casino hotels as well, the mob was run out by the federal government over the next several years; the constant stream of tourist dollars from the hotels and casinos was augmented by a new source of federal money from the establishment of what is now Nellis Air Force Base. The influx of military personnel and casino job-hunters helped start a land building boom, now leveling off; the Las Vegas area remains one of the world's top entertainment destinations. The valley is contained in the Las Vegas Valley landform.
This includes the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, the unincorporated towns of Summerlin South, Spring Valley, Sunrise Manor, Enterprise and Whitney. The valley is technically located within the larger metropolitan area, as the metropolitan area covers all of Clark County including parts that do not fall within the valley; the government of Clark County has an "Urban Planning Area" of Las Vegas. This definition is a rectangular area, about 20 mi from east to west and 30 miles from north to south. Notable exclusions from the "Urban Planning Area" include Red Rock, Blue Diamond, Mount Charleston; the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is the largest police department in the valley and the state and exercises jurisdiction in the entire county. There are 3,000 police officers that cover the city of Las Vegas; the department does not exercise primary jurisdiction in areas with separate police forces such as North Las Vegas, Boulder City, Nellis Air Force Base and the Paiute reservation.
The Las Vegas Valley lies in the Mojave Desert. The surrounding land is desert with mountains in the distance; the Las Vegas Valley lies in a high-altitude portion of the Mojave Desert, with a subtropical hot-desert climate. The Valley averages less than 5 in of rain annually. Daily daytime summer temperatures in July and August range from 100 °F to 110 °F, while nights range from 72 °F to 80 °F. Low humidity, tempers the effect of these temperatures, though dehydration, heat exhaustion, sun stroke can occur after a limited time outdoors in the summer; the interiors of automobiles prove deadly to small children and pets during the summer and surfaces exposed to the sun can cause first- and second-degree burns to unprotected skin. July and August can be marked by "monsoon season", when moist winds from the Gulf of California soak much of the Southwestern United States. While not only raising humidity levels, these winds develop into dramatic desert thunderstorms that can sometimes cause flash flooding.
Winters in the Las Vegas Valley are chilly, but sunny. Winter highs in December and January range from 52 °F to 60 °F, while nighttime lows range from 34 °F to 42 °F (
Frank Peter Balistrieri known as "Mr. Big", "Frankie Bal", "Mr. Slick", “Mr. Fancy Pants”, "Mad Bomber", was a Milwaukee Mafia boss, a central figure in skimming during the 1980s. Balistrieri attended law school for six months; as a young man, he started working for the Milwaukee crime family, which owed allegiance to the powerful Chicago Outfit criminal organization in Chicago. Balistrieri soon built a reputation for arrogance and ruthlessness. Balistrieri received the "Mad Bomber" nickname because he used Improvised Explosive Devices attached to cars as weapons against his enemies. Balistrieri married Antonina Alioto and soon his father-in-law and Milwaukee boss, John Alioto, was grooming Balistrieri as his successor. Balistrieri had two sons and John Balistrieri, who became lawyers and became involved in their father's business. Balistrieri had three daughters, Benedetta and Tami MacLeodOn December 27, 1961, at a crime family social event in Milwaukee, Balistrieri was installed as the new boss of the Milwaukee family, replacing the retired Alioto.
Balistrieri referred to himself as "the most powerful man in Milwaukee" after the "hit" on an acquaintance, August "Augie" Palmisano. Balistrieri conducted his business at a table at Snug's restaurant in Milwaukee's Shorecrest Hotel, giving orders over a red telephone. In March 1967, Balistrieri was convicted of income tax evasion and was sent to federal prison in Sandstone, Minnesota for two years, he was released in June 1971. On March 20, 1974, Balistrieri met with Kansas City mobsters Nicholas Civella and Carl DeLuna, in Las Vegas, Nevada. During the meeting, the mobsters arranged a meeting between Balistrieri and Allen Glick, the Cosa Nostra front man in that city. Balistrieri wanted to buy an option to purchase part of Glick's Argent Corporation, a holding company for four casino resorts. Glick agreed to sell half of the corporation to Balistrieri's sons, John Balistrieri and Joseph P. Balistrieri, for $25,000. Balistrieri claimed that, "he had an obligation arising from the assistance to Glick in obtaining a pension fund commitment in the amount of $62.75 million."
Balistrieri was referring to the Teamsters Union pension fund, controlled by the Cosa Nostra. In 1977, the FBI created a sting operation in Milwaukee aimed at Balistrieri, they sent Special Agent Joseph Pistone, working undercover in New York City as "Donnie Brasco", to Milwaukee to help set up a vending machine company. The object was to provoke Balistrieri into either retaliating against or working with the new business; when Pistone and another FBI agent met with Balistrieri to create a partnership, Balistrieri laughingly admitted that he had been getting ready to murder them. In 1978, the Federal Bureau of Investigation named Balistrieri in a news release as a "crime leader" in Milwaukee. Soon Balistrieri and Civella were feuding over each other's share from the skimming operations; the two mobsters requested arbitration from The Outfit. The results of the arrangement, as ruled by Outfit leader Joseph "Joey Doves" Aiuppa and underboss John "Jackie The Lackey" Cerone, demanded that The Outfit receive a 25% tax as its cut in skimming operations.
Balistrieri blamed Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, the Outfit representative at the Stardust Hotel, for Balistrieri's problems in Las Vegas. In 1982, Rosenthal narrowly averted death in a Las Vegas car bombing, attributed to Balistrieri. In September 1983, Balistrieri and his two sons were indicted on charges of skimming over $2 million in unreported income from the Fremont Hotel and Casino and the Stardust; this was the first case in which federal authorities had connected mobsters from four different states. On October 9, 1983, Balistrieri was convicted on five illegal tax evasion charges. While awaiting sentencing on extortion and bookmaking charges, Balistrieri declared his innocence. On May 30, 1984, Balistrieri was sentenced in Milwaukee to 13 years in prison and fined $30,000, his sons were convicted of extorting a vending machine businessman and each received two years in prison. In September 1985, Balistrieri was tried in Kansas City, Missouri with eight other associates for skimming an estimated $2 million of the gross income of the Argent Corporation from Syndicate casino operations.
Federal prosecutors further accused Balistrieri of skimming the unreported income and distributing it to organized crime figures in Kansas City, Chicago and Cleveland. In failing health, Balistrieri pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy in exchange for dropping federal charges, which included attempting to conceal ownership of a casino to skim profits and interstate travel to aid racketeering, he attempted to shield his sons and Joe, from any charges. On December 31, 1985, Balistrieri pleaded guilty in Kansas City to conspiracy and racketeering and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Close to achieving a seat on the ruling Mafia Commission in New York, Balistrieri was thwarted by this prison sentence. On November 5, 1991, Balistrieri was released early from federal prison due to his poor health. In December 1992, Balistrieri was admitted to St. Mary's Hospital in Milwaukee for colon surgery. On February 7, 1993, Frank Balistrieri died. Kelly, Robert J. Encyclopedia of Organized Crime in the United States.
Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-313-30653-2 Sifakis, Carl; the Mafia
The Hacienda Resort Hotel and Casino was a hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, that operated from 1956 to 1996. It was one of a chain of four Hacienda properties, with the other three being located in Fresno and Indio, California; each Hacienda featured a distinctive rider sign. Located by itself on the far south end of the Las Vegas Strip, it was the first resort seen by tourists driving up from California. Since it was so far from the other resorts at the time, many people who stayed at the Hacienda would not go elsewhere; the Hacienda was located close to McCarran International Airport, at one point they had their own airline, Hacienda Airlines, to fly in gamblers from all over the US. The Hacienda was known for their inexpensive, all-inclusive junkets marketed to American Midwestern retirees. Work on the Lady Luck Hotel had begun by 1953. Before construction reached the halfway mark, the projects' financing fell apart, management was denied a gaming license by state regulators.
One of the investors, Warren "Doc" Bayley, a travel columnist and owner of the Hacienda Motel in Fresno, stepped in to take over, agreeing to lease the property for $55,000 per month for 15 years. He changed the name from Lady Luck to Hacienda; the Hacienda opened on October 17, 1956, at a cost of $6 million, with 266 rooms and the largest swimming pool on the Strip. Bayley formed Hacienda Airlines in 1957. Offering packages that included transportation from Los Angeles to the Hacienda as well as a room and some casino chips; the airline included DC-4s and Lockheed Constellations numbering as many as 30 aircraft. After Bayley's death in 1965, his widow, Judith Bayley, took over management. After her death, the property was sold in 1972 for $5 million to a group led by Allen R. Glick, revealed as a frontman for organized crime interests. In 1977, Paul Lowden, the Hacienda's entertainment director and owner of a 15% stake, bought out Glick and the other owners for $21 million; the Gaming Control Board voted to deny Lowden a license due to his association with Glick, but was overruled by the Gaming Commission.
Magician Herbert L. Becker produced and wrote his own show at the Hacienda beginning in 1977; the show ran on a staggered schedule before Becker went into retirement. Magician Lance Burton produced and wrote his own show at the Hacienda beginning in 1991; the show ran for five years before Burton moved to the Monte Carlo Casino. In 1995, the Hacienda was purchased by Circus Circus Enterprises from Lowden's Archon Corporation. By this time, it was dwarfed by the many new megaresorts that were being built, in particular the Luxor which had just been completed; the Hacienda's closure was announced in September 1996. On December 10, 1996, the Hacienda was closed to the public after 40 years; the implosion began on December 31 at 8:53 p.m. local time, was notably televised as the culmination of Fox's 1997 New Year's Eve special. Despite the implosion, parts of the old resort still stood, due to the building not falling into its footprint, but toppling into its parking lot; the next day a wrecking crew was brought in to bring down the remaining parts.
In March 1999, it was replaced by the Mandalay Bay. The Hacienda name was licensed to the Hacienda Hotel and Casino in Boulder City
Stardust Resort and Casino
The Stardust Resort and Casino was a casino resort located on 63 acres along the Las Vegas Strip in Winchester, Nevada. The Stardust opened in 1958, although most of the modern casino complex—including its main 32-story tower—was built in 1991, it was demolished on March 13, 2007, a short lifetime by Las Vegas standards, where casinos are torn down and rebuilt on a regular basis. Shortly after the resort opened, the defunct nearby Royal Nevada hotel and casino was converted to become part of the Stardust; the Stardust closed at 12:00 p.m. on November 1, 2006, after operating continuously for 48 years. It was imploded on March 2007, around 2:33 a.m.. In 2007, Boyd Gaming, which owned the property, began construction on Echelon Place, Stardust's intended replacement. Construction was halted in 2008, during the economic downturn. In 2013, Malaysia-based Genting Group bought the site from Boyd, with plans to open Resorts World, a Chinese-themed resort, by 2020; the famed Stardust sign became one of the symbols of Las Vegas.
Young Electric Sign Company was hired to fabricate the sign. Kermit Wayne's design was selected for the roadside signs. Although Moe Dalitz, who took over from original developer Tony Cornero upon his death, said it was from his original plans, the sign was part of Cornero's original concept; the 1958 Stardust façade sign was 216 feet long and 37 feet high, wrapping around two sides of the building, was lit with 7,100 feet of neon tubing and 11,000 incandescent bulbs. It weighed 129 short tons, contained 32,000 feet of wiring, drew 3,000 amps. At the bend in the sign was a 16-foot diameter plastic model of the Earth. Cosmic rays of neon and electric light bulbs beamed from behind the model Earth in all direction. Three-dimensional acrylic glass planets spun alongside 20 sparkling neon starbursts. Across the universe was a jagged galaxy of electric lettering spelling out "Stardust"; the "S" alone contained 975 lamps. At night, the neon constellation was visible from over 3 miles away; the roadside sign was freestanding with a circle constraining an amorphous cloud of cosmic dust circled by an orbit ring and covered in dancing stars.
The hotel's name was nestled in a galactic cloud. In 1967, the old circular sign was replaced by a new $500,000 roadside sign; the new sign's form was blurred by a scatter of a shower of stardust. At night, incorporating neon and incandescent bulbs in the animation sequence, light fell from the stars, sprinkling from the top of the 188-foot tall sign down over the Stardust name, it was repainted in 1977 along with the refreshing of the building signage. In 1959, the Stardust took over the neighboring Royal Nevada Hotel, which had opened in 1955; the county abandoned the road that had separated the two properties in 1964 and the façade was extended in 1966 along with the main lobby building to encompass the Royal Nevada property. The façade sign was completed in 1968; the 1977 remodel of the building sign dropped the space theme in favor of an animated red and blue neon background, the covering of the porte cochere was lit with thousands of incandescent bulbs. The main name was reset in the Futura typeface and moved to the new West Tower after it opened in 1991, the building façade was stripped of many lights.
In 1991, the Stardust sign's Googie lettering was replaced with a subdued Futura typeface. The resort was conceived and built by Tony Cornero, who died in 1955 before construction was completed; the resort's assets were acquired and completed by John Factor, half-brother of cosmetics seller Max Factor, Sr.. John Factor leased the casino out to a company controlled by Moe Dalitz; when the hotel opened, it had the largest casino and swimming pool in Nevada, the largest hotel in the Las Vegas area. The Royal Nevada was the previous hotel on part of the Stardust site; the Royal Nevada opened north of the New Frontier on April 19, 1955, as the Showplace of Showtown, U. S. A; the resort's crowning glory was the crown. Al Sachs, who started as a dealer in illegal games before opening the Royal Nevada in 1955; the night before the opening, "atomic soldiers" from Camp Desert Rock were treated to a pre-opening party. Operation Teapot, the sixth in a series of nuclear weapons tests, had started earlier in 1955.
The Royal Nevada was plagued with financial problems from the start. While this resort seemed to "disappear completely", swallowed in 1958 by the Stardust and becoming the Stardust's Convention Center, portions of the two-story bungalow style Royal Nevada wing and pool remained in use up until 2006; the Stardust opened at noon on July 3, 1958. The attendees of the opening included governors, senators and county officials and Hollywood celebrities, the opening festivities were marked with fireworks and promised "a unique'ribbon cutting' ceremony"; the entertainment roster featured. Lido was conceived by Pierre-Louis Guerin and Rene Fraday, staged by Donn Arden; the performers were flown to Las Vegas on a chartered plane, arriving on June 20. The first showing on the night of July 3 was a preview reserved for members of the press, it was staged in the Cafe Continental, with seating for 700 and a rising stage capable of sinking 30 feet below and rising 10 feet above the floor